Newsstand Vs Direct Editions

I’ve recently begun to really go hard after 90’s and especially later Newsstands as they’re very difficult to find in high grades and from my research much rarer. I’ve made some awesome finds that are starting to pay off already. Anyone else doing the same?

I am always looking for those UPCs and such. I love a good newsstand copy and I totally subscribe to the collectibility of them. I have a Spawn #1 newsstand that is probably in 9.6 condition.

I’ve definitely picked up a few high grade raw books from the 80s in newsstand at my lcs that were priced the same as direct copies.

Also when I’m looking to buy a slabbed comic on eBay I’ll choose a newsstand variant copy over a direct every time if they are priced about the same.

It I’m not actively looking for them…just opportunistic when I come across them.

To be honest in the early 80’s direct editions were rarer but by the mid 80’s they were equally distributed and by the 90’s though Newsstand numbers dropped dramatically. I’m focusing on post 90’s as they’re much rarer.

I just picked up New X-Men 128 & 129 1st Fantomex Newsstands in really high grade for great prices. I also lucked into a few Witchblade 10 newsstands recently as well.


These are Marvel numbers specifically but they can be used for most comics.

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I wish I’d kept mine because mine were bought from newsstands brand new. Most are aware of the rarity so it’s hard to get a good enough deal for flipping.

I dont think that most know. I would say that most flippers know, but I dont think the general readers are aware of their collectibility. I dont see newsstands at cons or online but I pull newsstands often from collections that come into my local shops, and the shop keeps have no idea.

Oh that was in response to the spawn newsstands which most savvy collectors are aware of. I agree on a lot of people not being aware of the rarity.

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While I won’t dispute these numbers, as having been in Business through that timeframe, without a doubt 50% of my new comics were still newsstand editions in the mid-90’s …

I’m curious about the source for the Marvel numbers. Where did you acquire the chart from? I’ve dug through my second hand inventory many times and don’t notice a drop off until about 1991 when they shut down Curtis. DC in particular appeared to have equal numbers in the back issue bins up until the end of the 90’s. Marvel after 2000 I hardly ever see a newsstand edition but when I find one it’s frequently a large number altogether like unsold stock that found it’s way into the market cheap.

I believe it was from EIC Jim Shooter when he worked for marvel.

The direct vs newsstand distribution rates can be found in a few places online. Rare comics, on Wordpress has a detailed article. And nobody knows for sure, as the numbers were never released to the public, but I believe former Marvel execs have come out and stated estimates, as given above by @ToddW

who sells the 1 percent?

No one nowadays but back then it would’ve been mainly book stores.

I’ve been collecting newsstands for a while. I have a Uncanny X Men #266 at CGC getting pressed and graded, a Spawn #1 that I’m thinking about grading. Plus a ton of DC Rebirth newsstands including a Superman #10 and #11 both CGC 9.8. Always look for the barcode.

Where did you find the rebirth newsstands? Sounds like you’ve got a nice collection going. I’m more focused on Marvel as a personal preference. Going after a lot of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men Run as there’s also a lot of first appearances. Just sold a Witchblade #10 Newsstand for $82.50 sold it the same day I got it in the mail. Paid $25 for this lot.

Actually an interesting story with that particular lot. I had been watching it for a few days but the pics didn’t match up with the listing. He had another lot of the following Witchblade issues all newsstands and had the same pics on both listings. I had sent a message to clear it up and when I opened that message and saw the pics my heart was just pounding. Bought it on the spot.

Books a Million was getting them…but they stopped a few years back…and stopped carrying comics altogether around the new year.

They were also distributed to Barnes and Nobles. DC stopped all newsstands in August, 2017. Marvel got out of the newsstand game in 2013.

@A.King, How do you differentiate the Rebirth newsstands from Rebirth Directs? The Directs have UPCs too.